National Bonsai Foundation

National Bonsai Foundation http://www.bonsai-nbf.org The National Bonsai Foundation is a nonprofit organization established in 1982 to support the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum, located at the U.S.
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National Arboretum.

Mission: The National Bonsai Foundation is a section 501(c)3 nonprofit organization established in 1982 to sustain the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum. It cooperates with the U. S. National Arboretum by offering financial support and advice to the Museum. This private/public collaboration between the Foundation and the Arboretum enables the Museum to promote the art of bonsai and penjing to visitors through masterpiece displays and educational programs while also fostering intercultural friendship and understanding.

Operating as usual

"The mind is just like a muscle: the more you exercise it, the stronger it gets and the more it can expand." – Idowu Koy...
02/22/2021

"The mind is just like a muscle: the more you exercise it, the stronger it gets and the more it can expand." – Idowu Koyenikan

Did your New Year's fitness resolutions include working out your mind? If not, start today on #MindfulnessMonday.

📸Robert Hirzinger @unsplash

Our next edition of #InfluentialBonsaiMasters highlights the history of the loving spirit and innate talent Harry Hirao ...
02/21/2021
Influential Bonsai Master: Harry Hirao — National Bonsai Foundation

Our next edition of #InfluentialBonsaiMasters highlights the history of the loving spirit and innate talent Harry Hirao shared with the world. Hirao co-founded Kofu Bonsai Kai, one of the largest U.S. bonsai clubs, and sat on many bonsai boards across the country, including the National Bonsai Foundation. Read more:

This edition of Influential Bonsai Masters highlights the history of the loving spirit and innate talent Harry Hirao shared with the world. Hirao co-founded Kofu Bonsai Kai, one of the largest U.S. bonsai clubs, and sat on many bonsai boards across the country, including the National Bo

What's better than a sweatshirt? A sweatshirt featuring the evolution of the National Bonsai Foundation logo. If you did...
02/18/2021
National Bonsai Foundation Gifts | Official Merchandise | Bonfire

What's better than a sweatshirt? A sweatshirt featuring the evolution of the National Bonsai Foundation logo. If you didn't unwrap one over the holidays, grab your own now (or an NBF bonsai-themed tote, mug or tee!):

Proceeds go to the National Bonsai Foundation to support the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum.

Chrysanthemum stone – collected from the Gifu prefecture of Japan and donated to the suiseki collection as part of the 1...
02/17/2021

Chrysanthemum stone – collected from the Gifu prefecture of Japan and donated to the suiseki collection as part of the 1975 bicentennial gift from Kiyoshi Yanagisawa

It may look like chrysanthemum flowers have been preserved in this stone; however, the "petals" are really crystals that formed before the surrounding mud hardened into rock. This stone is unpolished.

02/16/2021
The Kato Family Stroll Garden in the Snow

Visitors to the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum encounter the enchanting Kato Family Stroll Garden on their way to the Japanese Pavilion. While the pathway is beautiful at all times of the year, it always looks so magical under a dusting of fresh snow.

Enjoy this video of the garden after a recent snowfall in Washington, D.C., captured by NBF Board Member and professional photographer Stephen Voss.

(Courtesy of NBF Board Member and Professional Photographer, Stephen Voss) The Kato Family Stroll Garden is entered from the Upper Courtyard through the H. W...

"There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature – the assurance that dawn comes after night, a...
02/16/2021

"There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature – the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter." – Rachel Carson

Although spring is on its way, be mindful of the wonders winter brings us each year. #MindfulnessMonday

📸 @stephenvoss

Happy Valentine's Day weekend from NBF and this beautiful bougainvillea bonsai donated to the North American collection ...
02/13/2021

Happy Valentine's Day weekend from NBF and this beautiful bougainvillea bonsai donated to the North American collection in 1990 from Harold M. Harvey (in training since 1985). Even though bougainvillea is a vine, it can be grown as a bonsai by continually pruning the growth. #bonsai #valentine

#ThrowbackThursday: In 2019, the Museum hosted landscape architect Ron Henderson and his stunning and poignant #sakuraor...
02/12/2021

#ThrowbackThursday: In 2019, the Museum hosted landscape architect Ron Henderson and his stunning and poignant #sakuraorihon exhibit that celebrated the cherry blossom culture in Japan, highlighting Henderson's pilgrimages to visit the country's famous old trees.

As he followed the blossoming cherry trees ("sakura") from south to north Japan, he recorded his experience in folding sketchbooks called "orihon."

The Blue Atlas cedar (Cedrus atlantica Glauca Group) featured in this month’s #HistoricalTreeSpotlight was gifted to the...
02/10/2021
Historical Tree Spotlight – Blue Atlas Cedar — National Bonsai Foundation

The Blue Atlas cedar (Cedrus atlantica Glauca Group) featured in this month’s #HistoricalTreeSpotlight was gifted to the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum by a power couple well known throughout bonsai and the overarching horticultural circles: Frederic and Ernesta Ballard.

Learn more about them in our latest on the Bonsai Blog:

The Blue Atlas cedar in 2012, pot designed and produced by Sara Rayner

Japanese maple – in training since 1946 and gifted to the Museum's Japanese collection in 1976 by Akiko MatsudairaTrees ...
02/09/2021

Japanese maple – in training since 1946 and gifted to the Museum's Japanese collection in 1976 by Akiko Matsudaira

Trees with fine twigs, small leaves and spreading roots are good specimen for smaller bonsai. Certain cultivars with these characteristics, like this one, are favorites for creating miniature scenes. What scene do you see here?

Winter weather can be icky, so here's a serene, warm beach scene to inspire your mindfulness practice this week. #Mindfu...
02/08/2021

Winter weather can be icky, so here's a serene, warm beach scene to inspire your mindfulness practice this week. #MindfulnessMonday

📸Alejandro Piñero Amerio on @unsplash

Caitlin elm – in training since 1988 and donated by Susanne Barrymore in 1990 to the Museum's North American CollectionT...
02/05/2021

Caitlin elm – in training since 1988 and donated by Susanne Barrymore in 1990 to the Museum's North American Collection

This forest planting was created from cuttings of a mutant contorted elm developed as a cultivar specifically for use in bonsai.

Our 2020 First Curator's Apprentice Sophia Osorio didn't expect to pursue a career in bonsai.But now she writes, "The no...
02/04/2021
First Curator’s Apprentice Blog – Scratching the Surface of Bonsai — National Bonsai Foundation

Our 2020 First Curator's Apprentice Sophia Osorio didn't expect to pursue a career in bonsai.

But now she writes, "The notion that a tree that has experienced so much history can still be alive and flourish with the help of many passionate staff members here at the Museum has made the art of bonsai one of the most inspiring practices I’ve ever been part of."

Read more of her first official First Curator's Apprentice Blog:

“O solitary pine, how many generations of man have you known? Is it because of your great age that the passing winds sing in so clear a tone?”  – Prince Ichichara, “ Man’yōshū ” If you had asked me six months ago what career path I would want to pursue in the world of horticu...

Chinese Elm – in training since 1946 and donated by Yee-sun Wu in 1986 to the Chinese collection 🌳The hollow trunk and g...
02/03/2021

Chinese Elm – in training since 1946 and donated by Yee-sun Wu in 1986 to the Chinese collection 🌳

The hollow trunk and gnarled branches of this tree imply survival into old age.

“Do every act of your life as though it were the very last act of your life.” – Marcus Aurelius, second century Roman Em...
02/02/2021

“Do every act of your life as though it were the very last act of your life.” – Marcus Aurelius, second century Roman Emperor

It's Monday. It's the first of the month. There's unlimited potential in the air! #MindfulnessMonday

📸: Hem Poudyal on @unsplash

Tiger-stripe patterned stone – collected from the Setagawa River in Japan and donated to the suiseki collection in 1998 ...
01/30/2021

Tiger-stripe patterned stone – collected from the Setagawa River in Japan and donated to the suiseki collection in 1998 by Hiroshi Mitsuzuka

Striped stones from the Setagawa River are much prized in Japan for their pattern rather than their shape. This stone was a gift for President Bill Clinton when he visited Japan during the Year of the Tiger.

#stones #viewingstones #suiseki #bonsai #Japan

For this edition of Bonsai Around the World, we’re highlighting a garden that is just a hop, skip and a jump north of us...
01/29/2021
Bonsai Around the World: Jardin Botanique de Montréal — National Bonsai Foundation

For this edition of Bonsai Around the World, we’re highlighting a garden that is just a hop, skip and a jump north of us: in Canada!

The Jardin botanique de Montréal / Montreal Botanical Garden is home to about 350 bonsai and penjing from North America, Japan, Northern and Southern China, and Vietnam or similarly tropical areas. Read more:

For this edition of Bonsai Around the World , we’re highlighting a garden that is just a hop, skip and a jump north of us: in Canada! The Montreal Botanical Garden , or Jardin Botanique de Montréal, is home to about 350 bonsai and penjing from North America, Japan, Northern and Southern China

For your Wednesday feed: a behind-the-scenes shot of the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum with a selection of kusamono (...
01/28/2021

For your Wednesday feed: a behind-the-scenes shot of the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum with a selection of kusamono (grass thing). These smaller plantings often accompany bonsai on display, but aren’t they so beautiful on their own, too?

Chinese Juniper – North American Collection, in training since 1975 and gifted in 1990 by James & Helen Barrett This bon...
01/27/2021

Chinese Juniper – North American Collection, in training since 1975 and gifted in 1990 by James & Helen Barrett

This bonsai has been styled to look like a lone tree hit by lightning, causing the top to die. It was a style made popular by bonsai master John Naka.

"Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.” – Eckhar...
01/26/2021

"Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.” – Eckhart Tolle

Another week of moments to encounter with a mindful approach #MindfulnesMonday

📸 David Kovalenko on @unsplash

The entrance to the National Bonsai & Penjing Musuem’s Chinese Pavilion in colder months 🌳✨
01/21/2021

The entrance to the National Bonsai & Penjing Musuem’s Chinese Pavilion in colder months 🌳✨

So. You're stressing about taking care of your trees in the winter. Keep Calm and Read these winter care tips from Curat...
01/21/2021

So. You're stressing about taking care of your trees in the winter.

Keep Calm and Read these winter care tips from Curator Michael James: https://bit.ly/39394z6

Bonsai is not limited to any one group or only available for experienced horticulturists. #Bonsai is for everyone, no ma...
01/19/2021
DAVID RIZWAN: “BONSAI IS FOR EVERYONE” — National Bonsai Foundation

Bonsai is not limited to any one group or only available for experienced horticulturists. #Bonsai is for everyone, no magic skills required.

From an interview with our 2018 First Curator's Apprentice:

When David Rizwan first saw a bonsai tree while searching online for plants to decorate his apartment, he thought there must be something “magical” about it. “It’s a common misconception that there’s something mysterious there,” Rizwan said of bonsai. “There is a general lack of knowle...

“Kindness is like snow: it beautifies everything it covers.” – Kahlil GibranLet mindfulness and kindess operate hand in ...
01/18/2021

“Kindness is like snow: it beautifies everything it covers.” – Kahlil Gibran

Let mindfulness and kindess operate hand in hand this #MindfulnessMonday.

📸 Chris Lejarazu – @unsplash

Whether it's too snowy outside or you're helping to flatten the curve, we bet you're still yearning to connect with natu...
01/16/2021
Five ways to connect with nature while stuck inside during COVID-19 | Ontario Nature

Whether it's too snowy outside or you're helping to flatten the curve, we bet you're still yearning to connect with nature indoors. Here are a few ideas, from growing your own food to making a bird feeder:

Tips to stay sane and connect with nature during the COVID-19 pandemic. Bring nature to you to maintain that critical connection.

Repost from @isanbonsai of the Yamaki Pine because we can always use a Peace Tree on our feeds: “This #pinebonsai is ove...
01/15/2021

Repost from @isanbonsai of the Yamaki Pine because we can always use a Peace Tree on our feeds:
“This #pinebonsai is over 390 years old and survived the bombing of Hiroshima. It currently resides at the @nbfbonsai in Washington D.C. An incredible testament of longevity and life. #bonsai #bonsaistyle #bonsaitree #yamakipine #whitepine”

We are grateful to our Board of Directors for their support, ingenuity and bonsai knowledge.Our spotlight series, The Bo...
01/14/2021
The Bonsai Board: Ross Campbell — National Bonsai Foundation

We are grateful to our Board of Directors for their support, ingenuity and bonsai knowledge.

Our spotlight series, The Bonsai Board, highlights their bonsai experience and why they joined NBF. This month's spotlight is on Ross Campbell, who joined NBF in August 2020 and became secretary/treasurer elect later in the year:

At the National Bonsai Foundation, we are grateful to our Board of Directors for their support, ingenuity and bonsai knowledge. Get to know the directors in our spotlight series, The Bonsai Board, highlighting their bonsai experience and why they joined NBF.  Read about Board Chair

The bare bones of winter trees at the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum ❄️✨🌨 What do your bonsai and penjing look like ri...
01/13/2021

The bare bones of winter trees at the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum ❄️✨🌨 What do your bonsai and penjing look like right now?

"Open the window of your mind. Allow the fresh air, new lights and new truths to enter.” – Amit Ray This #MindfulnessMon...
01/11/2021

"Open the window of your mind. Allow the fresh air, new lights and new truths to enter.” – Amit Ray

This #MindfulnessMonday set the tone for a week of new perspectives and openness.

Photo by Igor Cancarevic on Unsplash

Do you know which tree in the Museum's Chinese collection this trio sits under? Answer below, and tag us if you have you...
01/10/2021

Do you know which tree in the Museum's Chinese collection this trio sits under? Answer below, and tag us if you have your own photo of them!

From all of us at the National Bonsai Foundation: Thank you for your tremendous support in 2020, a year truly like no ot...
01/06/2021

From all of us at the National Bonsai Foundation: Thank you for your tremendous support in 2020, a year truly like no other.

Because of supporters like you, we met our December fundraising goal—a sum that will be generously matched by our Board of Directors! We look forward to continuing to share the art of bonsai with you this year.

The National Bonsai & Penjing Museum couldn’t house the finest bonsai in the world without a dedicated, talented and kno...
01/06/2021
Museum Curators: Michael James — National Bonsai Foundation

The National Bonsai & Penjing Museum couldn’t house the finest bonsai in the world without a dedicated, talented and knowledgeable leader. In our next installment of Museum Curators, we’re helping you get to know our current curator, Michael James, who is all of those things and more.

The National Bonsai & Penjing Museum couldn’t house the finest bonsai in the world without a dedicated, talented and knowledgeable leader. In our next installment of Museum Curators , we’re helping you get to know our current curator, Michael James, who is all of those things and more. H

"Every experience, no matter how bad it seems, holds within it a blessing of some kind. The goal is to find it." – Buddh...
01/04/2021

"Every experience, no matter how bad it seems, holds within it a blessing of some kind. The goal is to find it." – Buddha

It's the first #MindfulnessMonday of 2021!! As we welcome a new year, we’re being mindful of the blessings and lessons we gained in 2020.

📸Maria Vojtovicova on @Unsplash

Wishing you peace and tranquility in 2021 and always! Love, NBF ❤️🌳
01/02/2021

Wishing you peace and tranquility in 2021 and always! Love, NBF ❤️🌳

EXCITING NEWS: The U.S. National Arboretum and National Bonsai Foundation are  planning to renovate the National Bonsai ...
01/01/2021

EXCITING NEWS: The U.S. National Arboretum and National Bonsai Foundation are planning to renovate the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum!! Thanks to a generous donor, we have developed a comprehensive (and frankly, breathtaking) Museum Master Plan, which the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts unanimously approved this fall.

But we need YOUR support to bring this ambitious plan to life. Be a part of something big: Donate TODAY to help us build the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum of tomorrow, so thousands more visitors can experience the wonder of small trees in pots. Donate now: https://bit.ly/3o6r28C

Address

National Bonsai Foundation: 3501 New York Ave NE
Washington D.C., DC
20002

Opening Hours

Monday 10:00 - 16:00
Tuesday 10:00 - 16:00
Wednesday 10:00 - 16:00
Thursday 10:00 - 16:00
Friday 10:00 - 16:00
Saturday 10:00 - 16:00
Sunday 10:00 - 16:00

Telephone

(202) 396-3510

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Comments

Two infrared images from the National Bonsai & Penjing Collection taken last weekend. I wish I'd recorded the details about each tree I photographed.
hello world! what a beautiful museum! such a breath taking museum with rich history.
A small planting from the coast of Maine, Plantago maritima (sea plantain). Keeping cool on a hot summer day. Thanks to kusamono expert Young Choe for the identification.
A root-over-rock Trident maple from the Chinese Collection is repotted at the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum. Spring has arrived in DC. Note how vigorous the roots are.
What a joy to visit the Museum!
Thieves are snatching up rare, decades-old bonsai trees that are worth thousands of dollars. But they forget that once they take the plants, they have to figure out how to keep them from dying...
😩😩
You might want to consider making a timeline of U.S. history in the North American Pavilion with all of the Presidents and a few major events and then show where each of the bansai began training. This would give you a good idea of just how much history these plants have lived through.
I had such a great time at the Bonsai exhibition that I went back with a friend. I think it would be even better if the very old bansai (1625 was it?) was at the end of the Pavilion so that as you go along and see older and older plants and at the end are totally blown away by the oldest one.
California Bonsai Society is proud to announce The Ben Oki Bonsai Scholarships The California Bonsai Society (CBS) has set up a scholarship fund to honor Ben Oki - a man who devoted most of his life to enjoying and sharing bonsai. Ben was happiest when he was sharing his knowledge or working on a tree. To honor that sharing spirit Ben had we will be making five $200.00 grants available to anyone in the bonsai community to be used to attend classes, a workshop or other bonsai related educational activity. To apply, the applicant should write a short note detailing what they’d like to do with the funds - funds can be used for classes, materials to bring to a class, workshops, etc. as long as it is geared towards improving one’s bonsai skills and knowledge with an outside source. They cannot be used to just buy a piece of material to work on your own. Applicants who receive scholarships agree that in return for these funds within 15 days of completing class etc. they will provide CBS with photos and a short write up of what they did with the funds. This will be published on our website and in our newsletter. The application period will be from April 15th through May 30th annually with the scholarships awarded by June 15th. Applications will be accepted from anyone in the bonsai community. The scholarship will be awarded by random drawing. Anyone in the bonsai community can apply by sending a short note stating that they are applying for the Ben Oki Scholarship. Applications should include name, address and email of applicant as well as name of teacher, workshop leader etc. and dates of said classes or workshops or other activity to improve one’s bonsai knowledge. All applications need to be postmarked by May 30th. Applications should be mailed via US postal service to Ben Oki Scholarship c/o 17230 Roscoe Blvd. Northridge CA 91325
Bougenvile